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Why you should visit the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Though it may have escaped the radar of many foreign nationals living in Germany, the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is brimming with attractions and delights for tourists during the summer season.

The beach on the Darss-Fischland-Zingst peninsula.
The beach on the Darss-Fischland-Zingst peninsula. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Jens Büttner

Despite being the most popular  holiday destination for domestic tourists, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is woefully under-visited by non-Germans. According to the Lonely Planet, 97 percent of tourists who flock to the region each year are German.

If foreigners have visited, it’s most likely to have been to the seaside Stadt of Rostock and maybe to see the stunning Schloss of Schwerin, the capital.

But the whole state has a slew of attractions – from majestic lakes to historic Hanseatic towns – which will leave all visitors in awe.

Here are 10 reasons to head to the state. 

Lots of sunshine

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania regularly tops the list of Germany’s sunniest states and 2022 was no different. Last year, Germany’s most northeastern state was once again the sunniest federal state with 1,648 hours of sunshine. So sun-seekers planning a trip here over the summer are unlikely to be disappointed.

An abundance of water

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is not only blessed with abundant sunshine but it also surpasses all other German states with its water resources. With over 2,000 lakes and more than 2,000 kilometres of coastline, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the ideal destination for watersports lovers, or for those just wanting to relax near refreshing bodies of water.

Stunning historical sites

From the fairy-tale-like Schwerin Castle on Lake Schwerin to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Wismar and Stralsund, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has no shortage of well-preserved historical sites to visit.

Schwerin Castle in Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Bernd Wüstneck

The Hanseatic cities of Wismar and Stralsund provide visitors with a glimpse into the region’s rich maritime history and feature well-preserved architecture, including Gothic brick churches and merchant houses.

READ ALSO: Weekend Wanderlust: Following Dracula’s steps along the water in Wismar

Other highlights include the Neubrandenburg city wall – a medieval fortification which dates back to the 14th century and the Renaissance castle in the town of Güstrow.

Island escapes

If you want to feel like you’ve escaped Germany without actually having to leave the country, a visit to the Baltic Sea islands is just what you need.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is home to 25 islands and peninsulas, with Rügen, Usedom, Fischland-Darß-Zingst, Poel, and Hiddensee being the most renowned. Among them, Rügen claims the title of Germany’s largest island, spanning an impressive 930 square kilometres.

Rügen is best known for its beautiful white cliffs and the Jasmund National Park and if you’re visiting the island you should also head to the Königsstuhl vantage point for a breathtaking view of the Baltic Sea coast.

Thousands of manor houses and castles

In the past, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was home to countless dukes, princes and affluent Hanseatic citizens who left behind over 2,000 castles, manor houses, and stately homes in the region. Of these, more than 1,000 are listed buildings and around a third are open to visitors.

These houses not only provide tourists with a glimpse into the region’s past but many have also been transformed into cultural institutions that contribute to the local arts scene, hosting concerts, workshops and exhibitions throughout the year. 

A great place for artists

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has long been a place of inspiration for artists and many of the region’s manor houses have been repurposed as places to host artistic projects and workshops in the region.

One place with a particularly interesting artistic history is Ahrenshoop Beach: a picturesque artists’ village on the Fischland-Darß-Zingst Peninsula. The first artists’ settlement was founded here in around 1890 and over the years more and more creative people were drawn here, inspired by the beautiful natural surroundings.

Amazing beaches

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s extensive coastline offers a rich variety of beaches, each with its own distinctive charm.

Highlights include Warnemünde Beach near the town of Rostock, which offers visitors a broad expanse of sandy shores, beachside bars, watersports activities and an iconic lighthouse.

The wide sandy beach between Binz and Prora. Photo: picture alliance / Jens Büttner/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa | Jens Büttner

With its long stretch of soft sand, and crystal-clear waters, Binz Beach on the island of Rügen is widely acclaimed as one of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s finest beaches. 

Zingst Beach on the Zingst Peninsula is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park and is celebrated for its unspoiled beauty, vast stretches of sandy terrain, and dune landscapes.

Kühlungsborn Beach boasts one of the longest stretches of coastline in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, extending over several kilometres. The beach also offers a picturesque promenade dotted with cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.

Fish sandwiches

Probably the best-known dish from Western Pomerania is the Fischbrötchen: a locally sourced, fresh fish – usually herring – grilled or pickled, served in a crusty roll, with toppings such as onions, lettuce, and pickles.

Fischbrötchen is a popular street food snack and can be found sold in stalls next to beaches and in coastal towns throughout the region. It may not sound like much, but it’s really worth a visit to the region all by itself. 

READ ALSO: How Germany’s Baltic coast plans to honour its humble fish sandwich

Outdoor activities

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is a perfect destination for those who enjoy an active summer holiday.  

Hiking enthusiasts can find plenty of trails in Müritz National Park, Jasmund National Park, and Mecklenburg Switzerland and those who prefer exploring on two wheels can try out some of the picturesque cycling routes. The Baltic Sea Cycle Route and the Mecklenburg Lakes Cycle Route are particularly popular choices.

The Serrahn beech forest in the Müritz National Park. Photo: picture alliance / dpa-tmn | Nationalparkamt Müritz

Nature lovers will find plenty to explore in the region’s nature reserves and national parks, which are teeming with diverse flora and fauna. Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park stands out as a prime spot to witness rare bird species and other captivating wildlife.

Wellness and Spa

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is home to numerous spa towns that offer a peaceful retreat to unwind and reconnect with nature.

Bad Sülze, for example, is a small spa town known for its therapeutic peat and moor mud. Visitors can enjoy mud baths and spa treatments and explore the nature trails and parks in the area.

Another notable spa town is Bad Wilsnack, renowned for its healing thermal saltwater springs.

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For members


8 spectacular spas to visit in Germany this autumn

As the weather soon takes a colder turn and the nights close in faster than before, we give a rundown of Germany's most impressive spas that are all easily reachable by public transport.

8 spectacular spas to visit in Germany this autumn

As autumn approaches after an unusually long summer, it’s time to consider putting away that Kayak or roller skates and look for a way to warm up. And what better way than going to a natural thermal spa, used by inhabitants to cure ailments and warm spirits for centuries?

Visiting spas is a popular past time in Germany that’s often called “wellness”. And it’s a trend that’s skyrocket in recent years, with seven million people describing themselves as especially interested in wellness and 20 million as relatively interested.

Alongside big family-friendly waterparks, there are many spas called “Heilquelle” or healing sources, where minerals in the water are said to have health benefits.

Though the scientific basis for this can be quite thin, a study of people in Germany who went to this type of spa found that it could even have an impact on reducing sick days and hospital treatments.

But with thousands on offer, which are the best for a relaxing break and easily accessible from a big city? These are all easily accessible from Germany’s main population centres, making them a convenient getaway by car or regional public transport.


The Fontane spa in Brandenburg is in the town of Neuruppin and is named after 19th century poet Theodor Fontane, born in the town.

This is Brandenburg’s only state-recognised healing spa, and the water is known for its iodine content, as well as regularly topping lists for the best spa in Germany. If you fancy a visit, the spa is accessible from Berlin Charlottenburg or Spandau with the RE6 towards Wittenberge.

READ ALSO: 5 spots you need to see to truly appreciate autumn in Germany

Erding Spa

Located just outside Munich and accessible by the Bavarian capital’s S-Bahn is Erding, Europe’s largest spa. 

Far from being an ancient wonder, Erding Therme was actually discovered by the American oil company Texaco in 1983. They were looking for the tarry black fossil fuel but struck sulfurous water instead.

Therme Erding sauna ceremony

Sauna master Susann Knebel demonstrates an infusion ceremony in a sauna at Therme Erding near Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

Since then the site has grown to welcome 5,000 visitors a day and expanded to become the largest sauna complex in the world. And if getting your fill of healing minerals before dancing the night away is your thing, Erding even welcomes DJs for parties.

READ ALSO: Nine of the best day trips from Munich with the €49 ticket


One of the most impressive pools in the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, Neptunbad was built in 1912 in the time of the Kaiser’s German empire. With its chic façade and classic historical architecture, you’ll feel as pampered as one of the Kaiser’s favourite aristocrats – and the spa’s eco-credentials also make it a guilt-free visit. 

Located in the trendy Ehrenfeld quarter of Cologne, you can reach Nepunbad by bus or tram from anywhere in the city. 


Just outside of Cologne in Bergisch-Gladbach, the Mediterana will make you forget you are in the Rhineland at all with its Mediterranean-style buildings painted in bright colours and with Moroccan-looking domes and arches.

The Mediterana spa near Cologne

The Mediterana spa near Cologne. Photo: picture alliance / Mediterana/dpa-tmn | Mediterana


The German word for “to bathe” is of course baden, so what better place to go to bathe than Baden-Baden? The Caracalla spa on the edge of the Black Forest is one of Germany’s oldest, and was even used by the Romans, with its modern incarnation offering 4,000 square metres of space for soothing relaxation.

Meanwhile, the grandiose Friedrichsbad was opened in 1877 and combines modern Irish air-heating technology with historic architectural grandeur. If you have time during your visit, you can even visit the ancient Roman ruins underneath.

READ ALSO: 8 tips for enjoying the cold like a true German


Shaped like a circus tent from outside, this spa in Berlin is quite a recognisable part of the city’s skyline near the U1 & U3 U-Bahn lines. Expect an equally futuristic design inside, along with a large warm pool with underwater music as well as a few outdoor jacuzzis and saunas.


Built in 1914, this giant classical brick building boasts a spa that’s impressive outside as it is inside, with domed roofs and mosaic tiles under the water. There is even a 1920s-themed sauna with art deco design and movie posters from that era of great German cinema.

Holstein-Therme Bad Schwartau

Another state-recognized healing bath with iodine water, but also with its own mud spa, the Holstein Thermal spa in Bad Schwartau is based just outside of Lübeck and is easy to reach from Hamburg.